FORTRESS ENSEMBLE ON NEBET TEPE HILL
Nebet Tepe Hill - the hill occupying the northern part of the Trimontium massif, is one of the most remarkable historical places of Plovdiv. The legend was born here and the first pages of the history of the millennial city were written here.
The ruins of the ancient Thracian city of Eumolpia, which emerged as one of the first urban centres in Southeastern Europe, were discovered on Nebet Tepe Hill. From the multi-layer archaeological structure exposed on the hill it is possible to trace the cultural-historical continuity over the millennia. The main components characterising the settlements during that period have been exposed: solid fortification walls surrounding a sanctuary and an aristocratic palace. The most ancient part of the fortress is particularly interesting: stone masonry of roughly hewn blocks of crushed stone without mortar. The most valuable part of the ancient sanctuary - the ritual fireplace - is currently kept in one of the halls of the Archaeological Museum.
The appearance of the ancient Thracian settlement underwent considerable changes with time, which resulted from the changing political conditions in the Thracian lands. Around the middle of the 4th century BC, when Philip of Macedon conquered Thrace, the city acquired the name of its conqueror - Philippopolis - being one of its biggest and most flourishing settlements. The ruins of the western fortification wall with an impressive rectangular tower and entrance from the inside were from the times when
Trimontium became a citadel of a city acropolis surrounded by fortification walls on the highest parts.
Today it is possible to see there perfectly preserved reconstructions of the northern fortification wall from the time of Justinian the Great (6th century), when a poterna was built - a secret vaulted exit with steps cut into the rock massif, leading to the foot of the hill and to the right bank of the Maritsa River. The poterna is in immediate proximity to the ancient Thracian northern entrance to the fortress, which also led to the bank of the river.
The fortification walls of Nebet Tepe Hill were reconstructed during the Middle Ages as well. The reconstructions from the time of the Second Bulgarian State ( 12th-14th century) are particularly well visible. Large water reservoirs that were used during enemy sieges were also built at that time. The rectangular water reservoir found in the southern slope of Nebet Tepe Hill, which had a vaulted cover and a capacity of 300,000 litres, is very impressive. At one of its ends there was a water-bearing gallery with a fountain.
The 12th-14th century fortification walls descending along the eastern slope of the hill and reaching a height of up to 10 metres are the most important find.